Maybe sears will focus more on VOOM now?? (1 Viewer)


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Sep 30, 2003
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Sears shifts consumer electronics strategy
Friday March 19, 1:24 pm ET

NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) - Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE:S - News) is shifting its consumer electronics strategy, pulling personal computers from its shelves and adding more DVDs, televisions and electronic gaming systems to attract shoppers, its top executive said on Friday.

"Within the store we felt that the better use of the space was to bulk up on the consumer electronics side," Chief Executive Officer Alan Lacy said on Friday at the Reuters Consumer Products and Retail Summit.

"We are in so many businesses in our store, you have to make hard choices," Lacy said.

Sear's decision to ditch PCs and pull in more consumers with small "transactional" items such as DVDs comes as the company has struggled through nearly two years of declining same-store sales and stiff competition by discounters.

Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Sears has faced cut-throat competition with PC retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT - News), Best Buy Co. (NYSE:BBY - News) and Circuit City Stores Inc. (NYSE:CC - News).

Sears, which sells personal computers made by Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ - News) and Sony Corp. (Tokyo:6758.T - News), will continue to sell PCs over the Internet, Lacy said.

Lacy said that the company had primarily been targeting families looking to buy entry-level computers, an area where demand has declined as the PC market has become more mature.

Sears will start selling more DVDs, particularly new releases of movies, putting it more into competition with its retail competitors who have long used items like DVDs and CDs to pull in shoppers.

Lacy, who described the expanded DVD section as a "store foot-traffic driver," said the company will also sell a broader range of large-screen televisions and gaming systems.

"We will be significantly expanding our gaming offering - Xbox and Nintendo systems types of things. We sell them now, but in a very secondary way. We will make that much more front-and-center of what we are doing," Lacy said.

Lacy said that he expects the personal computer makers that are expanding into the consumer electronics market, such as Dell Inc. (NasdaqNM:DELL - News) and HP to take some market share, but not all.

"A lot of people want to buy a name-brand electronics from a retail store that can help them from an installation standpoint and service standpoint," Lacy said. (Additional reporting by Franklin Paul and Ellis Mnyandu)

(News from the Reuters Consumer Products and Retail Summit will be delivered throughout the day on Thursday and Friday to Reuters terminals and to the Web site,

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